“What are you doing? How could you?”
The blonde girl’s pencil stilled, poised over the sketch she’d been working on, then she returned to her drawing. She didn’t look up, despite the accusative voice that had shouted at her, she simply continued the long strokes of her pencil, stopping only to change colors. Only when the cloaked figure stepped forward and yanked the sketchbook from her fingers did she pay attention to him. She remained implacable, however, simply looking up at him.
“I’m doing exactly what I said I would. Nothing more,” she said calmly, returning his angry glare with a collected gaze. Axel tore down his hood, glaring at the girl and held the notebook out of reach.
“I told you to take Sora’s memories!”
“Yes, you did! But I didn’t say anything about Roxas!” Axel threw the notebook onto the table, bringing his hand up to run his fingers through his red spikes. Namine simply stared back at him, then reached over to retrieve her notebook from the table. She flipped through the pages to return to the sketch she had been working on before Axel had taken it. She looked down at the page, and sighed, picking up her pencil again.
“ That’s not true. You mentioned Roxas when you told me to take Sora’s memories, Axel. Don’t you remember?” She flipped the page and began a new sketch, “You wanted me to take Sora’s memories for Roxas. So I did.”
“That’s not the point!” shouted Axel, clenching his hands into fists, “I wanted you to take Sora’s memories so that Roxas could have a better existence! So that he could start feeling again! You know that!” Namine remained quiet as Axel’s eyes narrowed. “That was all that was in our agreement. I didn’t say give Sora’s memories to Roxas!”
“But what else was I supposed to do with Sora’s memories? Roxas needed them so he could become whole-“
”That’s not the point, dammit!” shouted Axel again, slamming his fists on the table. He stared at them, blinking, “It’s not...” he trailed off, and Namine sighed, reaching for a different color.
“It is, Axel, and you know it. You remember what you said to me, when we first met?” Axel made a disgusted noise, and walked away from the table, heading towards the window. Namine continued, frowning as she concentrated on getting the face she was drawing proportioned. “You said, ‘I want you to take Sora’s memories, so that Roxas can get better.’ I agreed with you at the time, and I did what I said. Now that I’m giving them back to Roxas, you’re angry with me? I know it wasn’t exactly what you had in mind, but didn’t you say you wanted what was best for Roxas? Since he was special? I’m doing what’s best for him.” She switched colors again, but paused before she touched the paper. She frowned at the page, her voice soft.
“I know it’s hard, but it’s for the best. He needs to be whole again. Don’t you want to give him that chance?”Axel gave a bitter laugh at this, and pulled back the curtain to look over the sleepy forest. Streams of twilight sun came into the room, giving the sterile white a new look as pinks, purples, yellows and golds stained the different surfaces. Axel remained unmoved, his attention on the little town beyond the trees outside the mansion. He gave another laugh, softer.
“You know,” he said, “when I came back from the castle of oblivion, the first person I met was Roxas. You know what he did? He smiled at me,” Axel laughed again, keeping his gaze out the window, though his fingers dug into the white fabric. “It was the first time he’d ever smiled, let alone at me. And any lingering guilt I might have had disappeared when he said he was glad to see me back in one piece. I knew Roxas was already better, even after that short time had passed.” He turned to glare back at her. “So why did you take away his memories? Why did you have to destroy everything he’d made for himself? Why?” his voice cracked, and he turned back to the window, “why did you take him away?”
“Because Sora needed him.”
“I needed him!” Axel shouted again, his fist glowing with the fire that danced around his knuckles. Namine remained firm.
“He needed Sora.” Axel opened his mouth to retort, shut it, and turned to open the window to stare out once again.
“But... I miss him. It’s not the same without him,” Axel said, bringing up a hand to place on the glass. “What am I supposed to do?” he whispered, his fingers curling on the windowpane.
“I suggest you go find him,” Axel turned to look at Namine, who had finished another picture and was turning to a new page. “Go find him, and say goodbye.”
Axel stared at her, and she gave him a sympathetic smile.
“Don’t worry, when Roxas becomes whole, he’ll have a heart again.” Axel slumped against the wall, his argument’s passion already dying out. Namine continued, glancing up at him before returning her gaze and pencil to paper. “And with his heart returned, he’ll always have a place for you, so you can always be with him. He may not realize it, at first, but he’ll never forget you.” Axel stood again, back straight, eyes forward.
“I’d better go make a lasting impression then, huh?” She gave him another sympathetic smile, but his face was cold, and he disappeared into the dome of darkness to go confront Roxas in the manor’s basement. She looked down again, at the picture in her hands, and sighed.
The young boy in the picture smiled serenely, the dirty blonde hair spiking out at odd angles over his face. His hand was to his heart, and in the background, a figure with bright red hair waved goodbye over his shoulder.
She closed the notebook, and hugged it to her chest.
“I’m sorry,’ she whispered, the tiny voice echoing in the stark white room. “But it’s for the best.”